How to use NLP for Self Development

How to use NLP for Self Development

practical-psychology

Table of contents

NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) is the ultimate approach to skyrocket your self-development fast.

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Do you want to learn how to become the best version of yourself?
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Did you ever ask yourself how to reach your full potential? 
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Are you sick of tackling goals but not completing them? 

If you want to learn how to practically integrate NLP into your life, this is the right blog post to read till the end.

At the end of this post, you will have a basic understanding of Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), how to use it, and which path to go to learn more.

We will examine the top 3 powerful NLP techniques that have transformed how I look at myself and others. You will even receive a bonus at the end.

🌎 Introduction: What is NLP?

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a psychological method that focuses on how individuals organize their feelings, thinking, and language. NLP is used as an approach to communication and self-development. It can be used to achieve desired goals, break negative thinking, and discover your true values. It has gained significant popularity because it cured lifelong phobias of individuals in a very short time (often in just one session). NLP was created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California. NLP has been used by therapists, coaches, and self-help experts for over 40 years and has helped millions of people worldwide achieve their goals and manage their fears.

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✨ The 4 Main Benefits of NLP

In this section, I want to list some the main benefits of practicing NLP.

1. NLP helps you to use positive, reflective, and attractive language.

Did you know we have an inner voice (a submodality) that can influence how we speak to ourselves? For example, you can use the Mickey Mouse Technique, which involves changing the voice in your head (which is most likely dark and deep, at least in my case) to one that sounds like Mickey Mouse. You can find a detailed explanation video on YouTube . (in german)

2. NLP helps you gain inner freedom.

By understanding and changing how you think, feel, and behave, you can overcome negative patterns and behaviors that may hold you back. This can lead to greater fulfillment and satisfaction in life.

3. NLP helps you to have a substantial influence on yourself and others.

By discovering your strategies for negative patterns, you gain insight into how to change them. You will better understand yourself and your habits through self-reflection exercises and NLP coaching. You can only influence others if you know how to influence yourself first.

4. NLP helps you to free yourself from blockages and destructive behaviors.

By identifying the underlying causes of negative patterns through asking questions, you can break free from them and create lasting change in your life. This can lead to improved health, increased happiness, and more success in all areas of life.
You need to get to the root of what’s holding you back and cultivate an overall positive mindset that doesn’t ignore negative emotions, but knows how to control them. - Tony Robbins

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How to Practice NLP on Yourself and the Top 3 NLP Techniques

While it is possible to learn NLP on your own, it is often helpful to get training from an NLP Trainer or coach.

In addition, attending workshops and seminars can be a great way to deepen your understanding of NLP. You will learn NLP in theory and practice in groups with different people. If there is one thing I have learned in the NLP courses I have attended, you have only truly understood something if you have applied it to practice.

I personally recommend Landsiedel, which is the biggest NLP Institute in Europe. Also, thanks to Marian Zefferer, I did all my NLP training there (NLP Practitioner, Master, Trainer, and currently the NLP Coach).

A video of me reviewing the NLP Practitioner and Master at Landsiedel

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Shortform-Summaries cover of Tony Robbins Books "Awaken the Giant Within", "Life Force", "Money Master the Game" and "Unlimited Power".
Shortform-Summaries of the Books by Tony Robbins

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How the book-summary "Life Force" looks like on Shortform (short book-summary and QR Code to install the app
Tony Robbins New York Times Bestseller "Life Force"

🧙🏼‍♂️ How to Practice NLP on Yourself

It is essential to know the theory of the techniques and formats, and NLP has much of that.

However, NLP mainly lives from the application. If I had to guess, I would say that the NLP modules in the NLP practitioner consisted of 25% theory and 75% application.

In the background are mountains in blue and it is written as a quote from Tony Robbins in the foreground: Knowlege is not power. Knowledge is only potential power. Action is power.
Action is power. - Tony Robbins

👩‍🔧 The Top 3 Techniques To Practice NLP on Yourself

Technique Nr. 1: Reflect, reflect, reflect

One of the best ways to learn about yourself is to take some time each day for reflection. As you reflect on your day, pay attention to your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. What were some of the positive things that happened? What could you have done differently? What did you learn about yourself?

Create a diary with a few of your favourite questions for yourself.

If you don't know what to write about, you can read the 3-minute journal, where you will find a template with short and powerful questions. You don't have to take more than 3 minutes to answer them each day.

questions from the blogpost "Journal for 1 hour" which I always ask myself in the morning and evening
Questions to ask yourself in the morning and evening

Technique Nr. 2: Action, Make, and Do

Once you have learned some NLP techniques, integrate them into your everyday life.

For example, to improve your communication skills, practice mirroring and matching the posture and breathing of the person you are speaking with. People like people who are how they would like to be or who are like them. Elements of mirroring in NLP include the volume and tone of voice, touch, gestures, facial expression, keywords or phrases and much more.

To overcome procrastination, set realistic goals and create action plans with specific deadlines. Get yourself into a peak state and go for it. 😎

Mirroring. 2 Men imitate everything the other one does (not exactly how mirroring works)
How to Manage Your State

Technique Nr. 3: Be your own coach

A great way to practice NLP on yourself is to act as your own coach.

Every day, ask yourself what you want to achieve and what steps you need to take to get there. As you progress towards your goals, regularly check in with yourself to see how you are doing and make necessary adjustments. You can also coach other people – friends, family members, and colleagues – using NLP techniques.

This not only helps them achieve their objectives but also allows you to hone your own skills.

🧰 The Top 3 NLP Techniques (In my opinion)

As NLP gathered the best techniques, tools, and formats from client-centered therapy, Gestalt therapy, hypnotherapy, and cognitive science, it is difficult to choose the best three.

However, enclosed I wrote the three most important skills you can have to change your own and your client's life.

😍 State management

The first step to achieving any goal is getting yourself into the right mind. It will be challenging to achieve anything positive if you're feeling stressed, anxious, or angry. Learning how to manage your state Controlling your thoughts and emotions can be achieved through breathing exercises, a confident posture, meditation, or visualization.

The person living state management is Tony Robbins. He has this article describing how to get into a peak state.

A Triangle is shown with the forces that control your emotions. State is written in the middle of the triangle and the sides which influence your State are Psychology, Focus and Language.
The State Triangle

The Tony Robbins Results Coaching

I even did a Tony Robbins coaching with a results coach personally trained by Tony Robbins. It was the most intense coaching session I have ever had.

In just 30 minutes, I knew where I was, where I wanted to go, and what I needed to do to get there. I listed the transformative questions in a blog post and made them publicly available.

🦚 There are only 2 states:

  1. Beautiful state (high-energy, peak states)
  2. Suffering (low energy states)

In the event "Unleash the Power Within," we had to begin to answer the following questions to uplift our emotional state:

  1. What will a beautiful state give you? Why will you live in a beautiful state in the future, no matter what might come your way?
  2. Why MUST you free yourself from all suffering now? How would your life look like if you freed yourself from fear right now?

Podcast Episode: How to finish a marathon with the help of NLP (+self-coaching techniques)

One of my favorite episodes on the Neurohackingly Podcast is about how to run a marathon with the help of some NLP self-coaching techniques.

I can honestly say that I could not have finished the 42.195 (26,2188 miles) kilometers without the help of Neuro-linguistic programming. If you want to know how I finished the race and what happened at the end, listen to the episode on the podcast platform of your choice.

🗯 Storytelling

Even though storytelling is a "normal" coaching practice, it is one of the most powerful tools we have for influencing others. When you tell a compelling story, you can capture people's attention and imagination and inspire them to take action. I still don't know how my NLP Trainer and Coach does it, but somehow he tells such compelling stories that I cannot do anything other than listen.

After a long day at work on Friday evening, we normally have a 4-hour session with him. I did not know even to digress once. I think he could tell about Martians eating an egg in an underwater submarine, and I would still be fully concentrated on the matter. If anyone knows how he does it, please write me.

“Stories constitute the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal.” - Dr. Howard Gardner, professor Harvard University

If you want to learn more about storytelling, "Storyworthy", by Matthew Dicks is a great book I recently listened to on Audible. I would 100% recommend this book if you are:

  • interested in telling better stories
  • like listening to engaging stories
  • want to know how to keep listeners glued to your lips

❓ Questions

Another key tool in NLP is asking questions. Asking the right questions – both of yourself and others – can help you clarify what you want and find creative solutions to obstacles in your way. When trying to achieve something, constantly asking yourself "why" can help you identify your deepest motivation and keep moving forward even when things get tough.

If you are interested in changing your focus to the positive and moving from the problem to the solution, I recommend the post from one of my newsletters, 17 Life-Changing Questions. If you're already on the site, feel free to sign up to receive free weekly self development tips.

🔥 [Bonus] + 3 Popular NLP Techniques

Anchoring,

This technique creates a positive association (or "anchor") with a certain place, object, or sound. 

Whenever you need a boost of confidence or motivation, you can refer to your anchor to help get yourself into a positive state. For example, you might listen to an uplifting song before an important meeting, touch a certain spot on your wrist whenever you need a reminder to stay calm or keep a picture of your goal in your wallet.

Now, you can look at it whenever you need inspiration.

Reframing

This technique involves changing the way you think about an experience or situation. 

For example, if you're anxious about an upcoming presentation, reframe it by telling yourself it's an opportunity to showcase your expertise and knowledge. Or, if you make a mistake at work, reframe it by telling yourself it's a learning opportunity that will help you do better next time.

Reframing can help change negative thinking patterns and give you a more positive outlook.

Visualization

This technique involves using your imagination to visualize yourself achieving your goals. 

For example, if you're trying to lose weight, visualize yourself eating healthy foods and exercising regularly. Or, if you're trying to get promoted at work, visualize yourself putting in extra effort and impressing your boss with your results. 

Visualization can help increase motivation and confidence levels, making it more likely that you'll achieve your goals.

“Becoming the type of person you want to become — someone who lives by a stronger standard, someone who believes in themselves, someone who can be counted on by the people that matter to them — is about the daily process you follow and not the ultimate product you achieve.”
- James Clear, Transform Your Habits

An NLP Roadmap: Where to start and where to go

#1. 👶 NLP Practitioner Training

#2. 🧒 NLP Master Training

#3./#4. 🤴 NLP Coach Training (for one-on-one coaching)

#3./#4. 🤴 NLP Trainer Training (for coaching a group of people)

👁‍🗨 Vision Board 2023

One way to visualize your goals is with the help of a vision board.

Like the Wheel of Life, I divided my life into different areas:

🗻 Personal development

💘 Friendship/family

🏟 Career

😜 Free fun time

🥦 Health

💸 Finance

The first step in closing the gap, however, is to figure out where you already are. A map can only guide you to where you want to go if you know your precise starting point.
a pyramid: bottom to top: physical body, emotions & meaning, relationships, time, work/career/mission, finances, celebrate & contribute
The Pyramid of Mastery by Tony Robbins

Example: How to get the most out of your 2023 Vision Board

Focus on the 2 most important areas you want to improve this year.

Questions you can ask yourself:

  • Where am I right now? Where do I want to go?
  • What would a successful person do? What would a healthy person do?

Let's say that your main focus is financing.

  • Okay, what mentors can help you?
  • What exactly will you do, and how can you measure it?

Write it down.

🎯 Vision Board Continuation

Then, I searched the internet for photos that resonated with me. Whenever I leave my room, I am reminded of my goals.

I also put up some reminders of past successes to remind me of what I have already accomplished.

If you want to do your Vision Board digitally, Canva is a great tool. I honestly just did it with Microsoft Word.

Vision Board divided into different areas. You can see different photos of goals I want to, or have already achieved.
My Personal Vision Board

Conclusion

In conclusion, practicing NLP on yourself can be a highly effective way to change your life. By using powerful tools and strategies, you can achieve your goals and transform yourself into the person you want to be. If you're committed to self-development, learning NLP is a great way to take your journey to the next level.

Explained in 4 bullet points:

• Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is an approach to communication and self-development used to achieve desired goals, break negative thinking, and discover true values. It has been gaining massive popularity due to its effectiveness in curing lifelong phobias in a short amount of time.

• NLP is best learned through an NLP Trainer or coach, workshops, and seminars.

• Benefits of practicing NLP include being able to use positive language, gaining inner freedom, having greater influence on yourself and others, freeing yourself from blockages and destructive behaviors.

• Techniques for practicing NLP include: reflecting, taking action, being your own coach, storytelling, asking questions.

So, what strategies and techniques do you use to achieve your goals?

If you want to know how I achieved the goal of running a marathon and doing Europe's highest bungee jump with the help of NLP, feel free to listen to the podcast episodes How to Run a marathon (without any training) and Europe´s Highest Bungee Jump: How to expand your Comfort Zone.

Resources

Positive thinking
Experience the wonders positive thinking can do for your state of mind. Reframe your mindset & achieve your goals by practicing these beneficial habits.
Articles on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Personal Coaching
You are the writer, producer, and director of your own mental programs.

Read all articles on Neuro-linguistic Programming

NLP Practitioner: How to get started with NLP

NLP for Dummies: How to get started and what to expect from your first NLP-Practitioner (written by an NLP Trainer)
If you are interested in personal development, want to learn how to get started with NLP, get details about your first NLP-Practitioner and learn more about Landsiedel.

👉 8 interesting facts about NLP that not everyone may be aware of

  1. NLP was inspired by the work of three individuals: Milton Erickson (a renowned hypnotherapist), Virginia Satir (a family therapist), and Fritz Perls (the founder of Gestalt therapy). Richard Bandler and John Grinder, the co-creators of NLP, studied these individuals to model and replicate their successful communication and therapy techniques.
  2. NLP is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interconnected and that we can change our internal experiences by changing our language and behavior.
  3. The field of NLP is interdisciplinary, drawing from linguistics, psychology, cognitive science, and computer science.
  4. NLP techniques have been used in various contexts, including therapy, education, business, sports, and law enforcement.
  5. Some popular NLP techniques include reframing, anchoring, rapport building, and visualization. These techniques are designed to help individuals change their thinking, feeling, and behaving patterns.
  6. There is ongoing debate about the scientific validity of NLP, with some critics arguing that it lacks empirical evidence to support its claims.
  7. Despite the controversy surrounding NLP, many individuals have reported experiencing significant positive changes in their lives due to using NLP techniques.
  8. NLP has been used to treat various mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).